Environmentally responsible, safe, and chemoselective catalytic hydrogenation of olefins: ppm level Pd catalysis in recyclable water at room temperature†
Textbook catalytic hydrogenations are typically presented as reactions done in organic solvents and oftentimes under varying pressures of hydrogen using specialized equipment. Catalysts new and old are all used under similar conditions that no longer reflect the times. By definition, such reactions are both environmentally irresponsible and dangerous, especially at industrial scales. We now report on a general method for chemoselective and safe hydrogenation of olefins in water using ppm loadings of palladium from commercially available, inexpensive, and recyclable Pd/C, together with hydrogen gas utilized at 1 atmosphere. A variety of alkenes is amenable to reduction, including terminal, highly substituted internal, and variously conjugated arrays. In most cases, only 500 ppm of heterogeneous Pd/C is sufficient, enabled by micellar catalysis used in recyclable water at room temperature. Comparison with several newly introduced catalysts featuring base metals illustrates the superiority of chemistry in water.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Green Chemistry Hot Articles